"Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of skiing with wooden skis"
Wooden Ski Construction
Well I had a go at making a pair [of skis] to give as a mid-winter present and enjoyed it so much I made a pair of my own later in the winter.
All in all I'm quite pleased with how they came out, and it's very satisfying getting out on a pair of ski's you've built. The first set I made from Ash and dark hardwood similar to mahogany that I uncovered in the timber store. They didn't take the bend quite so well at the tip as I soaked them in hot water rather than using live steam, however they ski well and Erny is quite satisfied with them.
The second pair came out well and having been through the process once I had an easier time of it and managed to avoid a few mistakes. I used some of the excess timber from the whaling station wharf, I'm not sure precisely what it is but it has a good straight grain and was free from knots. Leaving a much bigger margin for saw cuts, planing and sanding produced a better set of laminates, I also made them slightly longer (210cm) with a more pronounced camber.
I steamed them using a camp stove and an old life jacket bladder then left them to set in the jig for 24hrs before gluing them up, they took the curve better and needed less force on the clamps which I think gave a better bond. The SNS bindings aren't traditional on a timber ski but they don't look too bad.
I'm surprised by how well they ski, the lack of a metal edge cause problems when it's icy but in a powder they're a joy and give a surprising amount of glide. I managed to find some old Stockholm tar in the museum/whaling station and it's taken pretty well.
I've attached a few pictures of the build and the finished ski's I've tried to show a bit of the island/base as well. Spring is setting in here and the snow is being to melt off but we've had a good season all in all and there's still some good runs available up high.
Thanks again for your advise and sending down the plans, enjoy your skiing........James
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© Copyright 2012, Greg Fangel, www.woodenskis.com